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How to Fix a Rattling Door

Easy solutions for a rattling door

FH12APR_FIXDOO_01-2Family Handyman
Interior doors that don't fit tightly against the doorstop can develop annoying rattles and thumps. There are several good fixes for this problem, all of them simple.

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Three fixes for a rattling door

The most elegant fix: Shift the doorstop

Close the door and hold a block of wood against the doorstop. Smack the wood until the door stop moves enough to touch the door. Then secure the door stop with 1-1/4-in. finish nails.

Or, bend the tang gently

Tighten one adjustable wrench onto the curved “latch” side of the plate to hold it while you bend the tang. Then tighten the second wrench on the tang. Bend it toward the door and reinstall the strike to test the fit. Make several small bends rather than “overshooting” and having to bend it back and forth.

Or, fill the gap with a “dot”

Close the door and look for the largest gap between the door and the door stop. Fill the gap with a dot that matches the size of the gap. Just press the dot onto the door stop and cut off any overlap with a utility knife.

Spring nights are made for open windows and great sleep. But if your interior doors are out of adjustment, they’ll rattle every time the breeze kicks up. The problem is always caused by a gap between the door stop and the door. Here are three simple fixes.

The simplest fix of the three is to bend the little tang on the strike plate toward the door. When the door latches, it pushes the door toward the stop just a bit and holds the latch a little tighter, sometimes enough to silence the door. It doesn’t always work, but it’s worth a shot. A pair of pliers always hacks up the finish on the plate, so use two adjustable wrenches instead.

The next easiest fix is to shim any gaps with self-adhesive “dots”, which are usually used to soften cabinet door and drawer closes. You’ll find them near the cabinet hardware at the store. The least obvious are the clear dots that blend in with the door finish.

The harder, but more elegant fix is to actually shift the door stop so it’s tight against the door. If there’s paint and/or caulk, score it first with a utility knife. Then use a block and smack the stop tight against the door. The existing nails will shift quite a bit but may hold the stop away from the jamb when they bend. If that happens, use the block again to smack the stop flat to the jamb to flatten the nails. Check the door operation to make sure it doesn’t drag on the stop before you renail it. Here’s the downside: With painted or stained trim, there may be a bit of retouching to do.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you startyoull save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses
  • Utility knife

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • 2x4
  • 4d finish nails
  • Self-adhesive cabinet door “dots”